Kiss of Death

The political aspects of the UNSG selection process have traditionally discouraged candidates and governments alike from speaking about their interests. Though this year’s process can be characterized as the most open for candidates, governments are still reticient about sharing their preferences in any more than the most general terms. This is especially true for the P5 members.

The ThinkProgress blog posted a short clip of U.S. Ambassador John Bolton speaking about the next UNSG on the American FOX network on Friday. In response to the host’s question about whom Ambassador Bolton feels the nominee should be, he responded

Bolton: Well, if I told you who we thought the best candidate would be, it would probably be the kiss of death for that person. …this is a very important decision, in all seriousness. We’ve been working hard on it throughout the year. We hope for an early decision maybe late September.

Theoretically, this warning could apply to all P5 member states. But the ability of the U.S. to extend its influence unilaterally makes its preferences for the top UN officeholder particularly vunerable to rejection by other states.

UPDATE, July 24th: Ambassador Bolton told National Public Radio that the U.S. is looking for “…someone who will be the chief administrative officer. I’ve described the ideal candidate as a proletarian, somebody who will work in the system, who will get his or her fingernails dirty and really manage the place, which is what it needs.”

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